The much-anticipated film, “Retro of the Dead,” that was filmed in Elkhart and the City of Hooker, and “Eclipse of the Dead,” its sequel, will premier Saturday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at Northridge 8 in Guymon.
The double feature announcement was made by JFT Film Productions and Writer/Director Joel Trujillo, who said that stars of the “Retro” movie will be available for autographs following the double showing.
“Fans of the zombie genre will get an extra treat with two movies with a brief intermission for the price of one,” said Trujillo, explaining that although it was the last one to be filmed in the five part series “Retro of the Dead,” set in 1985, is the prequel to “Eclipse of the Dead,” set in 2008.
"Retro of the Dead" brings back several characters introduced in “Disco of the Dead” including Sgt. Nordrum, (played by Virgil Gibson of Hardesty), Mrs. Nordrum (Benita Keener of Elkhart) and a 17-year-old Monty McCormic. (This time played by Luigi Solano of Ulysses, Kan.)
Kennie Porter (D. Brent McKinley of Elkhart) has been hired by Sgt. Nordrum to find his daughter (played by Alyx Garza) who has run away from home with her boyfriend (played by Matthew Harrison of Hooker) and is hiding in a zombie sector away from the safe zones. Once again Kennie has help from Samantha Starke (played by Terra Orth of Elkhart) to rescue the teenage girl. As luck should have it, the zombie sector is owned by a zombie activist and rock star by the name Monarch (Mark Espinoza of Elkhart and young Monarch (Laeben Headrick of Liberal). Monarch lives a life of luxury hanging out with his fans and his girlfriend, Erica (Melissa Dearing of Liberal). He thinks of the zombies as his abused children because of the abuse he endured at the hands of his mother (played by Miranda Headrick). Monarch comes up with a solution to get rid of Kennie Porter with the help of scientist Dr. Daren Shields (played by Troy Emery of Liberal).
According to Trujillo “Retro of the Dead” which is part four of the series answers the question: Can Kennie Porter recue Sgt. Nordrum’s daughter from the zombies or will Kennie fall at the hand of the Monarch?
The fifth and final installment “Eclipse of the Dead” that was filmed in 2007 answers the questions: What has happened in 20 years to society as it copes with the undead and what happens to Kennie Porter, who dedicated 40 years to fighting against them.
“The story began in 1968 and closes in 2008 although the films were not filmed or premiered in chronological order,” Trujillo said, recalling that “Eclipse of the Dead” premiered in 2007 at Southgate Theater in Liberal, Kan. For fans of the zombie genre, DVDs of “Fields of the Living Dead,” “Dusk of the Living Dead,” “Disco of the Dead” (that had a sold-out premier last year), “Retro of the Dead” and “Eclipse of the Dead” will be available following the premier on April 26. Cost is $10 each.
Trujillo, who has won national video awards and recognition on ZMDB, a website geared for zombie movies and fans, has not revealed what his next movie project is, but said he has two projects scheduled for the summer.
“It’s time to explore something else,” he said. “But there will always be places in my movies for those who have supported my film efforts. We had a great time filming “Retro” and it was very nice working again with the people in Elkhart and Hooker. Special thanks go to those who turned out for zombie extras, Linda Martin and the Hooker Chamber of Commerce, Wendy Keith and the Thrifty Flea, Parrish Hedrick and the Hooker Soda Fountain and Hooker Closet Treasures, the Hooker Police Department and the Hooker Chamber of Commerce. Also in Elkhart: Epic Touch Co., Morton County Theater Group, Brian and Rosa Mitchell, Mitchell Theaters, Harris Gallery, Red’s on Mane, Jimmy Houtz, manager of High Plains Pizza Hut of Elkhart, Higand the Southwest Kansas Youth Project.”
For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/JFTfilmproductions. Tickets for the premier at Mitchell Theaters in Guymon may be purchased by cash or check.